Pipistrel Unveils New Panthera 4-Place Airplane

Pipistrel took the wraps off its super-efficient Panthera four-seater this week at the Aero Expo in Friedrichshafen, Germany, giving avgeeks a first glimpse at the aircraft that boasts a 1,000 nm range and a cruise speed of 200 knots, all while burning a mere 10 gallons of gasoline per hour.

The prototype unveiled at the Expo is powered by a Lycoming IO-390 fuel-injected engine and comes equipped with retractable landing gear and BRS parachute. Company reps say a hybridand electric version of the aircraft are currently in the works.

The Slovenian-based manufacturer has pinned the Pipistrel Panthera with the tagline “Wildly Innovative,” and if the sleek design can attain its target performance stats under Part 23certification, it will be. Company reps expect the Panthera, which was launched last year, to receive that certification in 2015 and are planning on pricing the aircraft below $500,000.

New Composite Aircraft Revealed At AERO Expo 2012 In Germany

The aviation community got its first look at Pipistrel’s long-awaited new four-place airplane April 18th at AERO Expo 2012 in Friedrichshafen Germany. The  4-seat all composite design features a retractable undercarriage, 200 kts cruising speed, 1000 NM range, comfortable cabin and a choice of three powerplants – conventional/hybrid/electric.

Pipistrel CEO Ivo Boscarol calls the design wildly innovative. “Panthera will shake the World of General Aviation, setting the benchmark for efficiency, cabin comfort and safety for others to follow,” he said. “Hybrid and Electric aircraft are the future of aviation with Panthera being the best airframe to demonstrate the potential of this technology.”

Panthera is an all-new 4-seat composite cruiser, developed entirely in house. The streamlined design with a very comfortable cockpit takes 4 people 1000 NM and cruises at 200 kts while burning only 10 gallons of fuel per hour. The prototype is powered by a proven and reliable Lycoming IO-390 fuel injected engine, but Hybrid- and Electric powerplants are coming soon.

Panthera’s standard equipment includes a specially-developed low-altitude high-speed Ballistic Parachute Rescue System, 26 G safety cockpit, tuned exhaust system, titanium trailing-link retractable landing gear and select Garmin avionics. Global Part-23 certification is expected in 2015.

Pipistrel is a three time winner of the NASA Centennial Challenges and has claimed the highest prize ever awarded in aviation, the Green Flight Challenge 2011. Its 4-seat electric Taurus G4 airframe was recently nominated for the prestigious Collier Trophy, awarded to greatest achievements in astronautics and aeronautics.

FMI: www.panthera-aircraft.com

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